Constructing a Budget

Overview

VPUE Undergraduate Research Student Grants are intended to provide student projects with financial resources that would otherwise be unavailable. An integral part of your grant application is a line-item budget, indicating how much money your project needs and how the money will be spent. Detailing a line-item budget could also help you assess the feasibility of the project


Table of Contents:


Budget Policies

Grants are primarily used for research expenses, such as:

  • Travel
  • Food and lodging
  • Art materials
  • Books and photocopies
  • Human subjects payments

Items that VPUE Undergraduate Research grant funds cannot support include: 

  • Electronic equipment purchases (e.g., computers, printers, cameras, etc.) - Students should request hardware via alternative means (e.g. Lathrop Library, Stanford Arts Equipment Lending Library, Terman Engineering Library, etc.)
  • Software - Students should request software via alternative means (e.g. Lathrop Library, Terman Engineering Library, etc.)
  • Lab supplies
  • Compensation for mentors or colleagues
  • Course tuition or workshop fees
  • Hiring assistants, performers, or other external services (e.g., book printing, transcription, translation, etc.)
  • Conference travel in cases where you are not presenting your own work
  • Travel or any other support for projects in locations where (a) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 ("Do Not Travel") or Level 3 ("Reconsider Travel") for the country destination; (b) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 or Level 3 (or associated language "Do Not Travel/Reconsider Travel") for the specific cities or regions within a country; or (c) there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks. Please see "Eligibility" and "Special Requirements" for additional details with regards to international travel. 

If a project includes paying human subjects, the proposal must outline this request as a separate line item in the budget. For human subjects funding, Undergraduate Research provides these funds directly to the faculty mentor's department via fund transfer. If human subjects payments are part of your project, you will need to provide the PTA (project-task-award) number for this transfer. Consult your faculty mentor and/or your department's financial analyst for the correct PTA. If they have questions about which PTAs are eligible for VPUE transfers, please ask them to email vpue-research@stanford.edu with their questions.

Budget Guidelines for Student Grants

Small Grant

Small Grants can support stipends up to $1500 for part-time projects throughout the academic year and the summer. If your project includes paying human subjects, your proposal must outline this request as a separate line item in the budget (please read the guidelines for human subjects payments below.)

Small Grant Example 1:

  • Human Subjects payment = $X
  • Stipend = $Y
  • Total = $(X + Y)

Small Grant Example 2:

  • Stipend = $X
  • Total = $X

Conference Grant

Conference Grants can support stipends up to $1500 for professional/scholarly conferences where students have been accepted to present their own project findings. Your budget should present the transportation expenses and registration associated with attendance. Requests for food and lodging (for travel more than 50 miles each way from Stanford) support may also be considered.

Conference Grant Example:

  • Travel to conference = $X
  • Food and lodging = $Y
  • Registration fee = $Z
  • Total = $X+Y+Z

Major Grant/Chappell Lougee

Major Grants and Chappell Lougee Scholarships go toward supporting students' full-time immersive projects over 10 weeks in their Flex Term quarter (Spring or Summer). This grant amount is intended primarily to cover a student's stipend for living expenses and any travel expenses associated with the project. If your project includes paying human subjects, your proposal must outline this request as a separate line item in the budget (please read the guidelines for human subjects payments below.)

Stipends for all VPUE Undergraduate Research full-time grants, including Major Grant and Chappell Lougee, will be calculated for each individual student as the sum of three components, detailed below.

Your line item budget should solely be based on the core stipend. The need-based and location-based supplements will be determined by the Undergrad Research office.

This stipend system is intended to direct additional resources to the projects and students that need them most; no student participating in an on-campus project will receive less than in previous years, and most students with high financial need will receive more.

COMPONENT

AMOUNT

Core Stipend1

$5,000

Need-based supplement, based on information from the Financial Aid Office2

Up to $1500, depending on the Financial Aid Office's assessment

Location-based supplement, based on where the student will live when the funded project takes place

$0 for remote projects3

$1250 for projects at a domestic field site

$2500 for projects at an international field

$2500 for projects taking place on campus

1 The core stipend is intended to help support basic living expenses, basic project expenses, and student earnings expectations (if any).  

2 Students who wish to be considered for the need-based supplement must give VPUE permission to ask the Financial Aid Office for an assessment of the student's financial need. No actual financial information is revealed to VPUE, and students do not need to contact the Financial Aid Office directly. 

3 "Remote" means the project does not depend on any particular location, and that the student is able to work on the project while living at home.

 

Major Grant and Chappell Lougee Grant Example 1:

In your grant proposal, you must spell out the detailed week-by-week steps associated with your 10-week project. Given this information, your budget request could be as simple as:

  • Stipend for 10 weeks for this project = $5,000

Major Grant and Chappell Lougee Grant Example 2:

If your 10-week project requires funds for human subjects payments, your line-item budget could look like this:

  • Human Subjects payment = $X
  • Stipend for 10 weeks for this project = $(5,000 - X)

Major Grant and Chappell Lougee Grant Example 3:

If your 10-week project requires funds for human subjects payments and other project expenses, your line-item budget could look like this:

  • Human Subjects payment = $X
  • Project expenses (e.g., books, art supplies, etc.) = $Y
  • Stipend for 10 weeks for this project = $(5,000 - X & Y)
  1. What if my project will have a couple different locations?

    Your location-based supplement will be determined by the primary location where you will be living. For example, if your project involves being on campus for the majority of your project, but you will also be traveling to Los Angeles to visit archives, you will receive the on-campus location-based supplement. If your project involves 3 different domestic locations, you will receive one domestic location-based supplement.

  2. My project could take place remotely at home, but I'd rather be on campus...

    Consider thinking carefully through the costs and benefits (both financially and non-financially) of the two locations. Ask yourself: What resources are available on campus that would significantly benefit my project? Can I access these resources remotely? How much of my grant stipend would go toward the on-campus housing bill? For some students, there may be a strong financial incentive to staying at home.

  3. How was my need-based supplement determined?

    Financial need is assessed by the Financial Aid Office using the information you have already provided to them. VPUE uses this assessment to offer a supplement to students with higher financial need.

  4. Is this applicable to part-time projects?

    The dynamic stipend does not apply to part-time projects. Part-time stipends are a fixed $1500 grant for a 10-hour/week project in any given quarter, regardless of location, financial need, etc.

  5. What if I am applying for a grant to fund a project that I am collaborating with another student on?

    Students conducting joint projects will receive individual stipends based on the stipend structure above. In other words, students may receive different stipend amounts depending on their project location site and financial aid status. (Remember that both students should submit individual grant applications at the same time, and each grant proposal should specify the role and responsibility of the applicant.)